Triskaidekaphobiacs are in a state of panic because today is not only Friday the 13th; it's the second Friday the 13th in the span of four weeks. Such back-to-back Friday the 13ths haven't occurred in twenty years.
I always find it strange that some high-rise buildings still omit the 13th floor, because of course the 13th floor is still there, even if you call it something else.
Wikipedia notes that in east Asia, fear of the number 4 is more common than fear of the number 13:
Tetraphobia, fear of the number 4 — (phonetically similar to 'death') in Korea, China, and Japan, as well as in many East-Asian and some Southeast-Asian countries, it's not uncommon for buildings (including offices, apartments, hotels) to lack floors with the number 4 and Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia's 1xxx-9xxx series of mobile phones does not include any model numbers beginning with a 4. In Taiwan, tetraphobia is so common that there are no 4's or x4's for hospitals.
Thanks to Josh Klein for submitting this video, which has been described as a "catastrophic collision of Bollywood and the arms industry." Produced by an Israeli arms company to drum up business in India, it features actors in Bollywood costume dancing around surface-to-air missiles.
But dammit, I now have the idiotic jingle from the video looping endlessly in my head: Dinga Dinga, Dinga Dinga, Dinga Dinga, Dinga Dinga Dee...
An Egyptian cleric is warning his followers to boycott Starbucks because he thinks the woman in its logo is Queen Esther:
"The girl in the Starbucks logo is Queen Esther. Do you know who Queen Esther was and what the crown on her head means? This is the crown of the Persian kingdom. This queen is the queen of the Jews. She is mentioned in the Torah, in the Book of Esther. The girl you see is Esther, the queen of the Jews in Persia,"
Of course, the woman in the logo isn't Queen Esther. Though I don't think the cleric would consider what the woman really is to be any better. From "The Mermaid" by Heinz Insu Fenkl:
although the image [in the Starbucks logo] is that of a split-tailed sea creature, it is a siren. More specifically, it is a double-tailed siren, a baubo siren, which The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects points out, is "a cross between a mermaid and a sheila-na-gig" and is found as a decorative motif in many European churches and cathedrals. "Her suggestive pose, like that of the sheila-na-gig, referred to female sexual mysteries in particular."
Sheila-na-gig is a general reference to female figures that prominently display their genitalia to signify the power of female sexuality and fertility. These images are also quite prominent in the decoration of sacred sites in general and are thought to be a legacy of the older Goddess religions whose holy sites were usually taken over by later religions. The shape of the genitalia in these squatting figures is also symbolic of the vesica piscis, the "vessel of the fish," which is also associated with Christ.
Sprehe Foods has decided to call its new line of frozen chicken strips "Obama Fingers." The name doesn't sound appetizing to me, but then these will be sold in Germany, the land of Armin Meiwes, so I figure Sprehe must know its market. And they come with a curry dip! [Spiegel]
"A specialty shielding product from Infab specifically for radiation protection of the mammary glands." It also would look great at the beach, particularly when worn in combination with the "elite gonad shields" which are available in sexy panther grey and panther brown.
Chicken and Waffles, as Wikipedia notes, is "a dish combining waffles, typically a breakfast food, with (usually fried) chicken." I've never had this dish, though I've had both chicken and waffles on their own, and I love them both, so I'm betting I'd love them combined.
This unusual combination of food is considered soul food, and its invention is often attributed to none other than Thomas Jefferson, who brought a waffle iron back from France in the 1790s. According to another theory, Jefferson also invented Mac and Cheese. So the man's influence on the American diet is perhaps even more profound than his influence on our politics.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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